08 DEC 2010 Iaaf News

Krnac, Slovak journalist, passes away

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The IAAF is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of the renowned and respected Slovak Sports journalist Ladislav Krnac who passed away on Sunday, 5 December. He was 83.

Born on 10 May 1927, Krnac worked for many years for Slovak daily Sport (1954-1988), concentrating mainly on athletics, basketball and olympic games. At the 1978 European Championships in Prague, he invented the so called flash quotes service, since then a standard service at all championships and most one-day meetings. He was a regular fixture at many one-day meetings, mainly Zurich's Weltklasse and Berlin's ISTAF where he worked on the field.

As a journalist he covered six IAAF World championships and 10 European Championships in Athletics, and also covered eight Olympic Games. He personally witnessed 115 world records and interviewed legends such as Jesse Owens, Emil Zatopek, Sergey Bubka, Haile Gebrselassie, Jolanda Balas, Irena Szewinska, Fanny Blankers-Koen and Armin Hary.

Krnac was also the author of three important books. In 1983 he wrote "Famous European Athletes" about the history of the European Championships in addition to two books about the history of world of athletics: in 2002 the "Thousand Stars -Men" was published, which was followed by a women's volume in 2004.

Outside of athletics, he was also the coach of the Czechoslovak men´s basketball national team from 1961-1963.

Although he no longer traveled in his later years, he still avidly followed the sport from his home in the countryside village of Zalazne, near Smolenice, some 80 kilometers from Bratislava.

Alfons Juck for the IAAF